Venables: Tiger 'D' can't have late breakdowns

Clemson's Korrin Wiggins looks toward Clemson's Brent Venables during the second quarter at Maryland.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Korrin Wiggins looks toward Clemson's Brent Venables during the second quarter at Maryland.

Venables breaks down his defense's play, good and bad, through eight games and looks ahead to Virginia...

UVA offense: They had a good productive day against a good Georgia Tech defense. Despite losing, they moved the ball well and just stubbed their toe in the red zon e alittle bit. They've moved the ball well on most everybody they've played. We've got some issues to clean up in terms of coverage, and that's what they do well.

Defensive improvement there, Venables looking for a lot more: Well certainly I hoped, but more experience and a little bit better depth, more knowledge and our cornerback play has really improved. That's let us do more things and not cover up for them. We've consistently got pressure on the quarterback. We're still a work in progress. Hopefully we keep getting better, that's what the great teams do. They continue to get better. We need to.

UVA Breakdown


For me personally for the way we finished that game last week, that wasn't a sign of maturity or arrival, for as well as we played. I thought there were 9-or-10 possessions and we held them to six points off from turnovers and other than that we didn't do a whole lot to be pleased with regardless of who you're playing. The cleanliness of the play of the large portion of the game and to finish with your guard down and sloppy play was very disappointing. It's a little bit of a concern and we'll try to fix some things we didn't do very well...We're still a month to the end of the season and there's still games to be played.

If you're a competitor, you don't like (breakdowns). The same calls are working for 50 minutes in the game and then all of a sudden they don't - what happened? They didn't get new players. We're still playing the same guys. It just takes one guy here or there. It's not necessarily indicative of everybody's level of play. It doesn't take much either. A couple of mental errors and on both touchdown throws we had mental errors. You hate that. You're competitive and your job is to keep them out of the endzone. For me personally, it takes a little of the shine off. It still eats at you and hopefully it eats at your guys.

Prevent 'D' for final Maryland scores? You still do what you've been doing. When the clock is their enemy, I think you're foolish not to manage the game that way. You want to go zero-blitz, and it sounds good, but they run a good jailbreak blitz on you. And you're getting selfish and your not managing smart either. It goes both way, and somewhere in between is what you want to have. You have to manage the game the right way. That means being smart.

I don't like that at the expense of people moving the ball on us either.

One consistent issue? I don't say it's one thing. I really don't...You can't play with a don't give up the (big) play attitude. It's not like it's the last play of the half. It's plenty of football to be played. I've lost a game with a 14-point lead in a minute and a half and everybody puts their guard down and plays not to lose. Then everybody tries to do too much and then you don't do anything right and you lose the game. That's a perfect storm. You got to play with the same type of intensity, precision and focus and the same type of tough attitude.

(The) bad football, those are the images that I had immediately after the game and still have now. What are we doing here? This isn't right.

Defensive tackle toughness: Those guys are tough. They have a chance to have the mentality and it permeates throughout your front-seven. Those guys don't mind swinging away. That's for sure. Coach Brooks is in instilling the right kind of mindset and he's got good tough leadership there. That really helps you in the middle of the defense.

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Comments » 1

DahlonegaJoe writes:

The players and coaches have really improved this year on defense. Next step is to not let up and allow these easy scores after the game is won. Probably has happened more than I want to admit but for sure we let UGA do it and MD also.
I will feel like our D has arrived when we take great pride in producing a Goose Egg every quarter.

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